Environmental licenses and permits are an essential part of implementing a civil engineering project. The majority of work done by a civil engineer takes place outside, so each project has a unique impact on the environment. This includes equipment impact during the construction phase and lasting impact of the completed project.
What is the difference between a permit and a license?
Both licenses and permits are legal documents needed to move forward with a project. These types of documents are issued by various organizations and agencies with different levels of jurisdictions and authority. Obtaining and honoring these documents is a complicated but necessary process.
An environmental permit is issued by an agency or local authority. These permits allow a process, such as excavation, to take place under controlled conditions. The permit contains instructions on limits and specific actions that need to take place to protect the environment. Permits are granted to control environmental impact during the construction phase of a project.
An environmental license can apply to the construction phase or finished project. These documents regulate pollution and prevent depletion of natural resources. An environmental license, for instance, can cover proper disposal of specific materials.
Because each document serves a different purpose, both environmental licenses and permits are needed to legally proceed with implementing an engineering solution.
Streamlining the Environmental Licenses and Permits Process
A river and floodplain restoration project in California was the topic of a recent ACSE article. The project’s purpose is to “undo the ecological challenges caused by decades of hydraulic gold mining. The new riparian and aquatic habitats created will help restore natural river processes, prevent flooding, and improve conditions for native fish.”
In order to reach the goal to complete this project by 2023, engineers need approval from multiple agencies. By creating a multifunctional solution, engineers created a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This collaboration resulted in added plans to create a fish habitat, which led to successful permitting to perform the originally planned restoration work.
OEI Expertly Navigates Regulatory Processes
With over three decades of experience in water resource management and infrastructure systems, OEI has the expertise to navigate complex regulatory processes. The solution to a complex engineering challenge often involves partnership with many different organizations. OEI maintains positive relationships with regulatory agencies, allowing us to better serve our clients and expedite the process to obtain environmental licenses and permits. Contact us today to discuss your specific permit needs.